Faisal brought the drone down to 2,000 feet and dialed back on the throttle. He had yet to fully master the zoom function on its FLIR unit, so he preferred to cruise at a lower altitude.
He no longer had any sense of physical form. He perceived the world the way the drone perceived it, through the limits of the drone’s senses. No sound. The drone couldn’t hear. In fact, Faisal no longer had a “physical” sense of anything. His perception of his form, his ability to assess whether it was “healthy” (functional?) depended entirely on the drone’s diagnostic systems. It was intellectual awareness, based entirely on quantitative data.
There was no sense of self. No fatigue. No pain.
Faisal had become unfettered consciousness soaring over the slum.
Unfettered consciousness packing Hellfire missiles.
As he neared the plume of smoke he focused his attention on the wreckage at its base. No obvious signs of a vehicle. No skeletal carcass. No tires, doors or axles strewn about the road.
He panned his FLIR along the street.
A hundred odd meters from the wreck he spotted the black SUV crushed up against the side of a building. What’s more there was a person near it, a dark shape making its way back toward the vehicle.
Faisal hurried to bring his laser designator to bear. The FLIR unit’s gun cross tracked down, down, down… he touched it to the figure’s head and let it breathe there for the second the targeting computer needed to refine its calculations.
Suddenly it jerked up and away.
Fuck. Shit. Balls.
The angle between the laser and his target had blown out too wide. He’d have to go around again.